In the modern workplace, fostering continuous learning and development around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is essential for creating inclusive working environments. However, it can be overwhelming to know exactly which strategies will be impactful.
To help HR professionals encourage ongoing learning and development around DEI topics, we asked six experts, including a Certified HR Professional and a CEO, to share their experiences. From introducing a DEI Book & Film Club to establishing a DEI learning community, here are the insightful strategies they shared.
Introduce a DEI Book & Film Club
We introduced a DEI Book & Film Club. Every quarter, we delve into a book or watch a film centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The experience becomes even more meaningful during our team discussions afterward. In fact, several initiatives in our organization originated from these sessions.
Making learning interactive and continuous through such a format ensures that DEI remains at the forefront of our HR practices. This approach keeps the dialogue fresh and evolving, proving invaluable for our team's development.
Fred Winchar, Founder, Certified HR Professional, MaxCash
Conduct Regular DEI Educational Initiatives
Given the evolving workforce landscape, characterized by cross-border employee mobility, global work platforms, and increased awareness of diverse backgrounds, it becomes vital for HR professionals to enhance their understanding of DEI matters and stay updated on the latest trends in this field.
An organization can only grow organically when it understands the need and significance of DEI. To achieve this goal, it needs to actively conduct regular educational and awareness initiatives, including workshops, seminars, conferences, etc., aimed at aiding employees in recognizing ways to foster acceptance and support among colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
By delving into topics like unconscious bias, cross-cultural awareness, inclusive communication, and more, these programs facilitate continuous learning about DEI. Consequently, this equips employees to navigate cultural differences and champion an inclusive workplace.
Arundhati Chafekar, Principal Consultant, Vertical Lead – Learning and Strengths, NamanHR
Create DEI Ambassador Roles
In our experience, traditional workshops sometimes fall short in maintaining ongoing engagement with DEI topics.
We've established DEI Ambassador roles within our HR department to encourage continuous learning and development. These ambassadors handle ongoing research, engaging with new ideas, and fostering a culture of inclusion. They act as in-house experts, regularly sharing insights with the team and initiating discussions on emerging DEI trends.
By giving this responsibility and recognition, we've seen a genuine interest and commitment grow among HR professionals, turning DEI from a subject of occasional training into an integral part of our daily operations.
Madhurima Halder, Content Manager, Recruit CRM
Organize DEI Seminars and Workshops
Carrying out seminars or workshops is one way to encourage this. It is important to keep employees informed about DEI topics. These topics provide information on a variety of subjects and can also help employees in their professional careers.
Several seminars and workshops have been scheduled, making it a monthly practice in the organization. This provides employees with continuous learning. Many influential speakers and experts from different fields have been invited to share their experiences. This has helped everyone gain valuable insights through active participation and question-and-answer sessions. It has also allowed the development of new contacts across various fields.
Jasen Edwards, Real Estate Agent and Coach, Agent Advice
Implement Interactive DEI Simulations
We introduced role-playing simulations to offer HR professionals firsthand experience of workplace scenarios related to DEI issues. After one such exercise, simulating microaggressions in the workplace, there was a 30% increase in proactive interventions by HR during team conflicts. This led to more harmonious interdepartmental relations.
Span Chen, Growth Director, Notta
Establish a DEI Learning Community
Creating a DEI learning community within your organization can foster ongoing learning and development for HR professionals. Establishing regular discussion forums, workshops, and resource-sharing platforms allows HR professionals to learn from each other's experiences and insights.
This collaborative approach not only deepens their understanding of DEI topics but also encourages open dialogue and the exchange of best practices, ultimately enhancing their ability to drive meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives throughout the organization.
Brian Clark, Founder and CEO, United Medical Education
From approaches such as creating DEI Ambassador roles to organizing seminars and workshops and establishing DEI learning communities, HR can encourage making DEI a central focus in their organization while ensuring that learning remains dynamic, engaging, and integral to daily operations. By embracing such strategies, organizations can effectively navigate the complexities of DEI, promote ongoing dialogue, and drive meaningful initiatives for a more inclusive and diverse workplace.